There are several types of stamps, with different names, that indicate the type of permission granted to the recipient. A stamp 0 indicates that the recipient has permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary and limited period subject to a number of conditions. Those conditions include that the recipient be of independent means in that they are financially self-sufficient. Therefore a stamp 0 permission is typically granted to those who wish to retire or live in Ireland as a person of independent means, be a visiting academic at an Irish university or college, live in Ireland as an elderly dependent relative of a non-European Union citizen, have an extended short-term visit to Ireland due to exceptional humanitarian circumstances, work for an overseas company in Ireland to carry out a specific task for an identifiable period of time, or some other reason deemed applicable for the purposes of an application.
During the course of a stay, the recipient must not receive any other governmental benefits or utilise any publically funded services such as attendance at colleges, universities or treatment at a public hospital. In general, an applicant will be expected to have private medical insurance.
An applicant will be expected to commit not to work or engage in any business, trade or profession unless they have received a requisite letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
A stamp 1 visa is given to an applicant to allow them to work or operate a business in Ireland subject to certain conditions. A stamp 1 is typically issued where an individual has an opportunity to work in Ireland based on an approved employment permit, is in a position to operate a business here, is looking to work in Ireland based on a working holiday authorisation or other such circumstances as maybe considered.
An applicant must not start a job or enter employment unless the relevant employer has obtained an employment permit on their behalf. If an applicant does not have a relevant employment permit they must not engage in any business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. If an applicant wishes to stay in Ireland past the expiration date of their immigration permission, it is incumbent upon them to apply for a new permission and seek registration before the expiration date. Stamp 1 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
The stamp 1A provides permission for an applicant to participate in full time paid accountancy training in compliance with the immigration rules or regulated by the IAASA in receipt of a training contract with a company based in Ireland for a specified period. The stamp 1A is granted subject to a number of conditions, primarily that the successful applicant not engage in any other business, trade or profession unless specified in a letter of permission from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
Non EU nationals who wish to train as an accountant in Ireland must have a recognised third level qualification. That third level qualification may be in any discipline or subject.
The accountancy body in Ireland with whom the applicant is registering will need to verify the authenticity of the third level degree programme completed by the applicant and will consider the applicant’s degree for the award of exemptions as necessary.
The following governing bodies are deemed eligible in providing a trainee accountancy contract for an applicant:
- The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA);
- The Association of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ACA); and
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in Ireland (ACCA).
The maximum time allowable for an applicant to remain on a stamp 1A permission to complete all exams and training is four years.
After the qualification has been achieved, if an applicant wishes to stay in Ireland, they can request an additional six months extension to their permission to allow them to complete the membership requirement of the relevant accountancy bodies. Thereafter, they are eligible to apply for regular employment permits.
Stamp 1G – Third-Level Graduate Programme
The purpose of the third-level graduate programme is to allow legally resident Irish educated non-EU nationals holding an award from a recognised Irish college or university to remain in Ireland after their studies.
An applicant must hold a current stamp 2 student immigration permission and an up-to-date immigration registration card and must apply within six months of being notified by the relevant awarding body or institution that they have achieved the award for which they enrolled as a student.
The applicant must not have already exceeded the seven-year limit on their permission as a non-EU national student in Ireland. An applicant may re-enter into the third-level graduate programme despite having previously benefitted from the third-level graduate programme at a level 8 award or above subject to their not exceeding the eight-year permission limit.
An applicant will not be permitted to access the third-level graduate programme on more than two separate occasions.
An applicant is generally expected to be a person of good character and has not come to the adverse attention of the authorities in any way during their previous or existing stay in the State.
The stamp 1G permission allows perspective employers to employ the successful applicant on a full time basis as opposed to persons who have a restricted work permission under the existing stamp 2 student restrictions. During the period of permission granted under the scheme, successful applicants are permitted to work full time in accordance with the relevant employment law provisions of the State but are not permitted to operate a business or be self-employed.
Holders of stamp 1G permissions are exempt from the requirement to possess an employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. However, the Department have advised that, in the context of managing access to the labour market, they do reserve the right to reserve this policy at any time.
A stamp 2 permission provides the successful applicant an opportunity to study a full time course on the official interim list of eligible programmes for a specified period subject to certain conditions.
An individual with a stamp 2 permission can work in casual employment for a maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic term and for a maximum period of 40 hours per week outside of the academic term. An individual holding a stamp 2 permission must not engage in any other business or trade activity.
An individual holding a stamp 2 permission cannot receive any benefits from the State or use any publically funded services unless they have an entitlement obtained through other means. If an individual holding a stamp 2 permission wishes to stay in Ireland past the date of their immigration permission, they must look to apply their permission and registration before the expiration date.
A stamp 2 permission is normally granted if an applicant is looking to study English, a higher national diploma, an undergraduate degree, a post graduate master’s degree or a PHD. Stamp 2 is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
A stamp 2A permission is given to successful applicants who are attending a course of study which is not on the official interim list of eligible programmes for a specified period.
A stamp 2A permission is typically given in circumstances whereby an individual is looking to study for a semester at an Irish university or college or looking to study at a private secondary school in Ireland.
During the period of time an individual is acting under the auspices of a stamp 2A permission they cannot receive any benefits or use publically funded services such as hospitals. In general, the Irish authorities will look at whether or not an applicant has a private medical insurance scheme before granting a permission.
An individual to whom a stamp 2A permission has been granted must not work or engage in any business, trade or profession during the specified period. Should an individual in receipt of a stamp 2A permission wish to stay in Ireland beyond the expiration date of their immigration permission, they must apply to renew their permission and registration before the expiration date.
Stamp 2A is not reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalization.
A stamp 3 permission is typically granted to an individual who is seeking to volunteer with a registered charity or non-profit, act as a minister of a religion or join their non EU spouse, civil partner or family member who is in Ireland on a work permit.
If an individual in receipt of a stamp 3 permission is offered or applies for a job, it is possible for that individual to apply for a stamp 1 permission work permit. However, in general, a stamp 3 permission is typically deemed a temporary permission and an individual to whom a stamp 3 permission has been granted cannot, upon that permission alone, work or engage in any business, trade or profession.
Stamp 3 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
A stamp 4 permission is given to an applicant to permit them to reside in Ireland but also to permit such an applicant to work without a work permit. A stamp 4 permission is typically granted to individuals who are on work visas, work authorisations, to the spouse of an EU or Irish citizen, to certain designated categories of refugees, to people with Irish born child residency permissions and to certain individuals with long term residency status.
A stamp 4 permission is typically given subject to an individual having a valid critical skills employment permit for two years, a valid employment permit for five years or having been a researcher, for example with a valid hosting agreement, for two years.
An applicant may be given a stamp 4 permission in order to permit an applicant to join their Irish or EU spouse, civil partner or defacto partner, to join a family member who has an immigration permission based on stamp 4 EU treaty rights, to join a family member who is a recognised refugee or has been granted subsidiary protection, to remain with a child who is an Irish citizen under the investor and entrepreneur programme for long term residents and as a convention or programme refugee or based on subsidiary protection.
A number of conditions pertain to the granting of a stamp 4 permission in that an individual cannot take up employment and are not required to hold an employment permit, despite the ability of an applicant to seek a change of their status. A successful applicant for a stamp 4 permission can work in a profession subject to the conditions of the relevant profession or bodies. A successful applicant can also establish and operate a business and may have access to state funds and services as determined by the relevant Irish governmental authorities, according to the Department of Justice and Equality.
Should a successful stamp 4 permission applicant wish to stay in Ireland past the expiration of their immigration permission, they must renew their permission and registration before the expiration date. Stamp 4 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.
A stamp 5 permission is also known as a without condition as to time permission. It is typically granted to individuals who have completed eight years or 96 months of legal residency in Ireland.
Successful applicants holding a stamp 5 permission do not need an employment permit or business permission.
A stamp 5 permission will be valid up to the date of expiration of your official passport.
For the purposes of qualifying time as to a stamp 5 permission, the following do not apply: stamp 0, stamp 2 or stamp 2A, temporary registered doctors under stamp 4, trainee accountants under stamp 1A, intercompany transfers under stamp 4, spouse or dependent of an intercompany transfer under stamp 3 or temporary visitors granted permission via port of entry. Stamp 5 is reckonable as residence when applying for citizenship by naturalisation.